Public advised to avoid contact with Mississippi River near Muscatine after disinfection system breaks

Update: Muscatine fixes broken UV system that disinfects treated wastewater

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MUSCATINE, Iowa — The City of Muscatine is warning the public that contact with the Mississippi River could make them sick because of non-disinfected treated wastewater that is being released.  People are being advised to “avoid full-body contact with the Mississippi River.”

The City of Muscatine announced that non-disinfected treated wastewater was being discharged into the river because their UV-Disinfection system broke down. Staff at the Muscatine Water Pollution Control Plant is expecting the system to be repaired by the end of the week; they are waiting for some parts to arrive.

In the meantime, the city is warning people that contact with the water could make them sick.  Avoid contact with the river downstream from Riverfront Park in Muscatine in Pool 16 of the Mississippi River.  

The UV-Disinfection system, which needs to be repaired, removes harmful bacteria like E. coli and viruses that can cause bacterial infections.

“Health hazards may make individuals sick if river water is swallowed while swimming, jet skiing, or water skiing in these areas after the release of non-disinfected treated wastewater.

The city will notify the public once the system is repaired.